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Sioux Falls Feminists endorse The Accidental Mind for describing
how our brains are constructed one layer on top of another.
Built bottom up from the oldest layers to the most recent,
but the older layers were never fixed to work better with
the latest ones. It's just one band aid on top of another.

The Accidental Mind
How Brain Evolution Has Given Us
Love, Memory, Dreams, and God
By David J. Linden

The Accidental Mind (2007) - 276 pages
The Accidental Mind at Amazon.com

You've probably seen it before: a human brain dramatically lit from the side, the camera circling it like a helicopter shot of Stonehenge and a modulated baritone voice exalting the brain's elegant design in reverent tones.

To which this book says: Pure nonsense. In a work at once deeply learned and wonderfully accessible, the neuroscientist David Linden counters the widespread assumption that the brain is a paragon of design - and in its place give us a compelling explanation of how the brain's serendipitous evolution has resulted in nothing short of our humanity. A guide to the strange and often illogical world of neural function, The Accidental Mindshows how the brain is not an optimized, general-purpose problem solving machine, but rather a weird agglomeration of ad-hoc solutions that have been piled on through millions of years of evolutionary history. Moreover Linden tells us how the constraints of evolved brain design have ultimately led to almost ever transcendent human foible: our long childhoods, our extensive memory capacity, our search for love and long-term relationships, our need to create compelling narrative, and ultimately, the universal cultural impulse to create both religious and scientific explanations. With forays into evolutionary biology, this analysis of mental function answers some of our most common questions about how we've come to be who we are.

David J. Linden is Professor of Neuroscience at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

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The Accidental Mind
How Brain Evolution Has Given Us
Love, Memory, Dreams, and God
By David J. Linden

Sioux Falls Feminists endorse The Accidental Mind for describing
how our brains are constructed one layer on top of another.
Built bottom up from the oldest layers to the most recent,
but the older layers were never fixed to work better with
the latest ones. It's just one band aid on top of another.